White collar psychopaths have amazing interpersonal skills, highly intelligent and powerfully persuasive that when incorporated into their persona make them a very good master at disguise. Their most common types of crime committed are Theft crimes like fraud, theft by deceit, embezzlement, and abuse of trust crimes.
First, we will explore the crime of fraud and how it pertains to white collar criminals. Fraud is defined as getting property by deception. This is one of the easiest white-collar crimes to commit but also very likely to get caught as many Highly respected businessman have found out the hard way.
The most common type of fraud is tax evasion is where you write your own leger of business or keep separate records to report less income to the government than you actually made or claiming tax deductions that you are not entitled to in the first place. The current punishment for tax evasion Fines and up to five years in prison if found guilty.
It is currently estimated that about 24% of the United States population takes part in some form of tax evasion it may be not reporting under the table income or it may be claiming extra on the child care credits. The IRS has many tax auditors and they generally review the received tax documents if major changes have happed since the previous years filing. Insurance fraud would be the next major theft crime committed by white collar criminals. The insurance fraud occurs when a person attempts to gain benefit to which they are not entitles or when a insurer denies a benefit that is due.
We have all heard of instances where someone has a life insurance policy and then when they pass away the insurance company finds a reason not to pay what was due on the policy. We have also heard of people sending in claims on insurance in which they are attempting to deceive the company into paying for a vehicle that has been in a junk yard for a number of years. This type of theft is committed by business owners across the nation in an attempt to save paying the federal government more of their earned income. And it is not just business owners often people who are contract labor do not claim everything they make throughout the year or they claim many deductions that they were not really using throughout the year. Fraud is the number one committed white-collar crime in the United States. Is this due to the ease in which people are able to get away with this type of theft? Or is it due to the lack of the federal government not making laws or rules to make this crime harder to commit?
Second, we are going to discuss white collar theft by deceit crimes. Theft by deceit is defined as theft where an individual uses deceptive acts or words to gain control of another persons property. A common type of theft by deceit is obtaining a persons social security number by telling them you need it for a government form such as food stamps or health insurance. When in reality you only needed their information so that you could run a Identity theft ring. Another instance of deceit crimes is a business man obtaining the deed to your property for some business transaction with the promise you would receive it back in a certain amount of time and then turning around and transferring the deed to their name effectively taking ownership of your property. A common target for this type of crime would be older couples that have retired and the mentally challenged because they are seen as the easiest marks. However most white collar false pretense crimes are committed by employees of commercial buildings, department stores and specialty stores. The range of these crimes varies from place to place but using the Uniform Crime Reports it is fair to say that false pretense crimes have the second highest rate of being committed and mostly occur in commercial establishments and other public places of business. Deceit crimes are committed by psychopaths because they have no remorse for what they have done to the victims and lack the empathy to see how their actions have affected the victim and their families. The classic door to door salesman so depicted in numerous older movies would be a classic example of a white collar deceit criminal due to his charming nature and ability to smooth talk his was into your home to show you this awesome new product and once you buy the product it breaks within a short time after he boasted about how great and reliable it was in the beginning. This type of crime is committed by people that work in business offices where they have access to your personal information, shady salesman, con artist, and those that run identity theft scams. Are our laws harsh enough to deal with people that commit theft by deceit? Or are we just putting a band aid on a ever opening wound?
Third, we are going to discuss white collar abuse of trust crimes. Abuse of trust is defined as an individual using a position of trust for personal or financial gains or so that someone else loses money or status. An example of this would be giving a financial adviser control over your money to invest in the stock market and the adviser decides to invest it in a company that he has a lot of stock in knowing that the company is going under. Another example would be an adviser selling your stock at a cheap price to one of his friends knowing that the prices would jump up in the next few days. Both of these instances cost the victim financial loss and the culprit a financial gain. An example of this in tangible property would be a individuals trustee over their trust account transferring money to a private account and telling the trustee it was used for their benefit such as tax payments or other normal cost of living items. One of the reasons a psychopath can get away with abuse of trust crimes is that they carry themselves very well always dressed nicely, usually very educated, intelligent and charming it is part of their persona. They know if you feel comfortable around them and they can show you a good level of intelligence that you would more than likely be duped into letting you into their lives in some aspect. These crimes are committed by a wide range of people from investment bankers to family members that have been given access to your financial accounts. These crimes have the most direct impact on a individual due to the criminal being a person they actually speak to on a regular basis and in some instances the person might have even spent time at the victims house for dinner or other social occasions. The impact of this crime is not just financial but a crime that you can feel through all aspects of your life. You will ask yourself how could I have not seen the signs or he was such a great friend/family member how could he have done this to me. The laws that govern abuse of trust crimes are in place to stop acts like this from happening but are they enough or should we find a way to screen those that have the ability to ruin a person both psychology and financially?
Fourth, we are going to discuss white collar embezzlement theft crimes. We define embezzlement as the misuse of funds placed in ones trust or belonging to ones employer used by the trustee for their own financial gain or goals. An example of this actually happened to my company a few months back. An example of this would be a bond agent that we had working for us was writing bonds and collecting payments and never turning in the money or receipts for his payments. All in all, it is estimated that he stole between 5,000 and 8,000 dollars. This is the easiest of the crimes to get away with due to the nature of being in control or at the very least having access to large sums of money. This kind of theft is a prime target for white collar psychopaths due to the thrill of stealing from someone else and ease of access to the money and the hard to detect nature if done correctly. This type of theft is committed by Financial officers at large corporations and can be committed on smaller scales by people employed in the general public.